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Eagles Grab Hold of First Place with 71-69 Win Over ETSU
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. - Four players scored in double-figures for FGCU as the Eagles won their 10th consecutive game and avenged a 75-67 loss to the Lady Bucs in January.
The win moves FGCU up one-half game atop the Atlantic Sun Conference standings, as the Eagles jumped ahead of ETSU (13-9 overall, 11-3 A-Sun) for first place in the standings and extended its winning streak to 10 straight and improved to 19-4 overall and 12-3 in the A-Sun.
Shannon Murphy (Brighton, Mich.) with 4:18 to play gave FGCU a 65-61 advantage. Following that trey, both teams traded buckets over the next minute, but the Lady Bucs were able to clip the deficit to one, 68-67, after Sieer Evans scored on a layup with 2:21 on clock. However, Adrianne McNally (Howell, Mich.) came down and drove the lane, connecting on a lay-up and drawing a foul at the 1:58 mark. The McNally free throw put the Eagles up four, but the Lady Bucs never quit and Latisha Belcher’s lay-up with 1:23 remaining made the contest 71-69.
FGCU’s defense then forced Devin Thompson into a turnover with 42 ticks remaining. The Eagles were unable to score on the next trip down the floor, and with less than 10 seconds to go the Lady Bucs got the ball to Natalie Pickwell for a last second shot that hit off the front of the rim as time expired.
For the game, ETSU shot only 39.7 percent from the field (27-of-68) and were limited to only 4-of-16 from beyond the arc (25.0 percent). The Eagles finished with a 42.4 clip from the floor (25-of-59) and were 9-of-29 (31.0 percent) from 3-point land.
Chelsea Lyles (Colorado Springs, Col.) led four FGCU players in double figures, as she poured in a team-high 17 points, grabbed seven boards and dished six assists. McNally and Brittany Brown (Flint, Mich.) each finished with 15 points. Murphy chipped in with 12 points.
Sierre Evans finished with 13 points and 18 rebounds to record her 11th double-double of the season.
The Lady Eagles begin a two-game home stand beginning Thursday night when FGCU hosts Kennesaw State on “Think Pink Dollar Night”. Tip is set for 7 p.m. inside Alico Arena.